The Double (Jose Saramago)

November 13, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Doppelgangers

Painting by Sebastian Bieniek

(English translation: 2004) Secondary-school history teacher Tertuliano Maximo Afonso (almost always referred to by his full name) is depressed and apathetic. He cares little about his work (believing that history should be taught in reverse not forward), neglects his mother, can’t remember what led him to get married, forgets why he got divorced and is trying to dump his girlfriend, Maria da Paz (also almost always named in full). He lives alone and spends most of his free time listlessly plodding through a large tome on Abyssinian history. His only friend, a fellow teacher, suggests that he is out of…

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The Dark Master

November 3, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Oz Asia Festival Space Theatre, Adelaide, October 29, 2019 (Director: Kuro Tanino) Japanese rural inns are a mainstay of horror films and video games.  The Dark Master merges these genres when a hapless young backpacker (Koichiro FO Pereira) is bizarrely inveigled into running a once popular bistro in an undefined area of Japan (possibly Osaka).  The former proprietor (Susumu Ogata), who may or may not have operated the inn for the last 30 or 35 years, disappears upstairs and issues instruction to his apprentice, via earpiece. The young traveller, who has never so much as boiled an egg, learns quickly…

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mother!

October 1, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Darren Aronofsky) (2017) -1* Directed into a stinking ditch by Aronofsky (whose Black Swan at least one of us in the TVC office quite liked), mother! is a complete whackadoodle of a movie. Whack. A. Doodle. (But not in a good way like, say, Aronofsk’s Requiem for a Dream or  The Lobster). After meretriciously deluding the sad, unsuspecting viewer with a set-up that invokes Rosemary’s Baby, The Others, the Book of Genesis and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Darren goes completely off piste, off his head and off the (exhausted and ravaged) planet.  The metaphoric Garden of Eden gives way to…

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Sydney Dance Company: “Neon Aether”/ “Cinco” / “WOOF”

August 10, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Adelaide Festival Centre, 8 August 2019 *** Sydney Dance Company is marking its fiftieth anniversary with this three part performance, currently touring Australia.  Although each half-hour long part is created by an individual choreographer (after which it is named; the title-names above were not used in the Adelaide performance), all three are connected by a sinuous melancholy.  The corps, of 5 to 11 male and female dancers occupy an empty space, leavened only by fog and low, diffuse lighting. The first piece, choreographed by Gabrielle Nankivell, begins and is punctuated by darkness and the sound of machinery, perhaps a lift…

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Fall, or Dodge in Hell (by Neal Stephenson)

Apparently a psychopath feels negative emotions such as fear or disappointment only slightly, but experiences the highs of (say) skinning people so very much that he or she continues to take risks which neuro-normals wouldn’t countenance. Clearly, having learned so little from the decidedly negative emotions I suffered upon reading Seveneves and The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., and being so ridiculously hopeful that the latest Neal Stephenson novel will be another Snow Crash,  I must be a psychopath. Again: Great idea – Drab execution. Richard Forthrast, billionaire (previously met in Reamde) has instructed that, upon death, his remains are…

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